Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Sub-Department

Physics

First Advisor

Brett David Altschul

Abstract

Different models containing Lorentz violation are studied in order to explore possible new physics beyond the standard model. In the electromagnetic sector, a time-variation in the fine structure constant &alpha is studied as a possible mechanism to generate Lorentz, CPT and gauge symmetry violations in quantum electrodynamics. The vacuum polarization diagram and fermion self-energy are studied in order to study the consequences of a time-varying &alpha on photon and fermion propagation.

In the weak sector, light curves of type Ia supernovae---which decay at a rate set by the &beta-decay lifetimes of the 56Ni and 56Co produced in the explosion---are analyzed as a possible way to test any time variation in the Fermi constant GF, which governs the strength of weak interactions at low energies.

Finally, a theory of scalar and spinor fields, interacting through Yukawa and &phi4 interactions, with Lorentz-violating operators included in the Lagrangian is considered. The leading quantum corrections in this theory are computed, showing the renormalizability of the theory at the leading order. In the pure scalar sector, the calculations can be generalized to higher orders and to include finite terms, because the theory can be solved in terms of its Lorentz-invariant version.

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